ANAHEIM, CA – Students in 21 classrooms at Paul Revere Elementary School participated in the world’s largest shared reading experience when they collectively read Julia Sarcone-Roach’s The Bear Ate Your Sandwich with volunteers from Orange County United Way and FedEx.
Since 2006, “Read for the Record” has mobilized over 17 million people across the world through a 24-hour national volunteer-student reading event that promotes high-quality early-grade reading.
The program is especially crucial at Paul Revere Elementary where 94% of its students don’t have access to technology-based learning and lack the support for at home learning and literacy.
Early-grade literacy affects a student’s ability to understand other school subjects. Children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.
“Study after study demonstrates that students’ chances of graduating high school on time increase if they can read proficiently by third grade,” explained Max Gardner, President and CEO of Orange County United Way and reader in today’s school program. “That’s why programs such as this are so important; when we share our enthusiasm for reading with kids, it plants seeds that will continue bearing fruit for the rest of their lives.”
Investing in the next generation is integral to the culture at FedEx
“Read for the Record gave our team an opportunity to contribute to this important community issue,” said Matt Plaisted, Assistant Manager with an Irvine FedEx Office. “It’s part of our culture at FedEx for team members to support our charitable investments and local community needs, and strengthening the high school graduation rate by encouraging early-grade reading will have a tremendous impact on our future work force.”
The event provided a full range of experiences for volunteers as they gathered at the school to learn, laugh and read. Special activities included story mapping and constructing bear puppets and each classroom got a copy of the book.
Paul Revere School serves as a model to strengthen the neighborhood
This fall, United Way brought its SparkPoint OC Financial Empowerment model to Paul Revere Elementary in addition to the early grade reading initiative.
These school-based empowerment centers provide homeless or unstably housed families with support services that ensure they have permanent places to live and their kids can stay in the same school.
The initiative offers an integrated approach to addressing many issues that children and their families face. Programs include a school pantry, physical education activities and a parent engagement curriculum that educates, empowers, and inspires parents to take active roles in helping their kids stay in school and succeed after they graduate from high school.
For more information about FACE 2024 and Orange County United Way’s income, housing, health and education programs, please visit www.unitedwayoc.org/face-2024 or www.ocreads.com. See more Read for the Record photos and watch the video below.
Katherine Ransom, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Orange County United Way 949.263.6176, firstname.lastname@example.org
21Strat 949.981.5008, email@example.com
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY:
Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been working to improve lives and strengthen our community by mobilizing the caring power of Orange County. To do this, we focus on the building blocks for a good quality of life: Education, Income, Health and Housing. By investing in Orange County’s children, families and individuals, we help them meet their most basic human needs, including food, shelter and medical care, while at the same time creating pathways to self-sufficient futures through education and training. In short, we help people help themselves. Through our 10-year initiative “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), United Way is mobilizing local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of Orange County youth and families. Orange County United Way holds a 4-star rating from America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.